TORRANCE (CBSLA) — A 7-Eleven clerk was in a coma Wednesday night after being brutally attacked while trying to stop a burglary in a Torrance store.
The clerk, 51-year-old Syed Asif Ali, was working an overnight shift when the robbery suspects entered the store Saturday around 1 a.m.
Video showed the moment the suspects made their way to the beer fridge and then took off running. Ali ran after them in attempts to stop the theft.
“They just grabbed a bottle of beer and broke it over his head and he was just knocked out and they continued to beat him and break bottles on him,” said Ali’s niece Wafa Naqvi.
“I just can’t understand why somebody would want to do that all over just a case of beer.”
Ali, the father of four young children, suffered a fractured face, a broken skull, a punctured lung, and was in a coma after being beaten by the suspects.
“Honestly it’s just so devastating seeing someone who is so brave, so hardworking, in that state, lying in a hospital bed with tubes sticking out of him,” said Naqvi.
According to Naqvi, her uncle was told by the store’s owner to take photos of anyone who tried to steal from the 7-Eleven, which is why she believes her uncle chased after the suspects.
Police believe that along with the man and woman seen in the security video, they are also looking for a third suspect they believe jumped in to beat Ali.
“They need to be put behind bars so they can never do this to somebody again,” Naqvi said. “He’s never going to be the same again even if he does survive.”
Naqvi said that as of Wednesday evening, Ali was still in a coma but some of the swelling had gone down.
Torrance police believe the suspects may have fled in a gray sedan.